USF softball (22-28) getting a Top 25 vote?
As a general rule, I am not that easily confused. My wife will argue this, with good reason. But for me to pass along information here, it has to make a certain amount of sense.
So when I get an e-mail about USF softball that's titled "Bulls Receive Votes In National Poll For First Time This Year," I have to pause for a moment. Click on the poll, and sure enough, there in the "also receiving votes," some coach in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association gave USF two vote-points, the equivalent of a single No. 24 vote.
The Bulls are there in the poll, and it only makes sense for USF to celebrate that in the spirit of publicity, even if it makes no sense that the Bulls are in the poll. See, USF has struggled to a 22-28 record and is headed for only the third losing season in the program's history. What's more, the Bulls have really struggled in the past two weeks -- they've dropped seven of their last eight, scoring all of nine runs in those eight games.
And the Bulls haven't really faced any elite teams of late -- two weeks ago, they played DePaul, which is No. 26 in the current poll, but the Bulls were outscored 21-2 in that series. They've played nine games against teams actually in the current top 25, but they're 0-9 in those games, outscored 35-3 in the last six of those.
The NFCA doesn't release individual ballots, but confirmed that the vote was correctly entered by the voter as "South Florida." Each conference has one coach with an NFCA ballot, and the Big East's is Rutgers coach Jay Nelson, though the Big East office clarified that Nelson was not the coach voting for USF.
So again, congrats to USF for cracking the national polls. We'll definitely check back next week to see if the Bulls can win and/or move up in the rankings ...